While COVID-19 vaccines appear to be highly effective, additional preventive tools remain important to limit the spread of COVID-19. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others offers the best protection from COVID-19.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines in use or under development use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
People can experience normal side effects, such as fever, after vaccination. These side effects are signs that the body is building immunity.
It takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. A person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Vaccines currently authorized for use or in development won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
There is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests, which show previous infection. This would indicate that the vaccine likely triggered an immune response in your body and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.
COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all vaccines.
Before authorization: the FDA carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and ACIP reviews all safety data before recommending use.
After authorization: the FDA and CDC closely monitor vaccine safety and side effects.
Two vaccines expected to receive Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the FDA: Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2): 2 doses given at least 21 days apart Moderna (mRNA-1273): 2 doses given at least 28 days apart
Both vaccines were tested in tens of thousands of adults from diverse backgrounds, including older adults and communities of color.
Clinical trial data show that both vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
It is unknown how long protection from vaccines might last.
These COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a harmless piece of the “spike protein” for SARS-CoV-2. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions (the mRNA) and gets rid of them.
Cells display this piece of spike protein on their surface, and an immune response is triggered inside our bodies. This produces antibodies to protect us from getting infected if the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters our bodies.
mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
They CANNOT give someone COVID-19. mRNA vaccines DO NOT affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
These mRNA vaccines are expected to produce side effects after vaccination, especially after the 2nd dose. Side effects may include:
No significant safety concerns were identified in the clinical trials. At least 8 weeks of safety data were gathered in the trials. It is unusual for side effects to appear more than 8 weeks after vaccination.
We understand that the choice to get vaccinated is deeply personal, so we are not mandating it at this time. But, please be aware, healthcare workers and seniors in congregate living are first in line for COVID-19 vaccine because of their higher risk of exposure and transmission. We hope that our employees and residents lead the way and follow the below steps:
Choose to get vaccinated yourself when it is available to you.
Participate in v-safe and help CDC monitor for any health effects after vaccination.
Share your experience with coworkers, friends, and family. Know the basics about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Help answer questions from your family and friends.
Visibly show you received a vaccine, such as by wearing a sticker or button.